Our search for the White Wine of the Year is now in its 21st year, and here we take a look back at some of the previous winners.

White wines in a class of their own

After more than 20 years, the award for our White Wine of the Year is steeped in prestige. Year after year the search for the best white includes wines from some of the most premium regions in the Southern Hemisphere crafted by critically-acclaimed winemakers.


Our Tasting Panel considers the pedigree of wines truly exceptional, a fact that becomes very apparent when we reflect on previous award winners.


From a superb Chardonnay from the Barossa’s Bob McLean in 2009, a memorable Orange Chardonnay from up and coming winemaker Adam Bennett in 2013, and Sally Blackwell’s beautifully balanced Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in 2015 – the quality of the winners is undeniable.

2009 Winner – McLean’s Farm Barossa Chardonnay 2009

Renowned Barossa winemaker Bob McLean made St. Hallet famous and then went on to make the Barossa his own with his range of wines. McLean’s Farm wines are exclusive to Cellarmasters and we’re proud to continue the legacy of the larger-than-life character at the heart of this label.


This 2009 winning Chardonnay makes no apologies about being a real Chardonnay-lover’s Chardonnay! It’s fruity and flavoursome, but at the same time refined. It’s a feat few achieve and there’s a nice twist of acidity to the ripe peach and tropical fruit salad flavours, with an aftertaste that lingers.

2013 Winner – Redemption Orange NSW Chardonnay 2012

Young gun winemaker Adam Bennett describes Orange in New South Wales as one of the country’s most exciting regions due to its high altitude, volcanic soils and cool climate.


After tasting his bronze medal-winning Chardonnay our judges were unanimous in their decision to award his Redemption Orange Chardonnay as the White Wine of the Year in 2013. Smoothly integrated from nose to palate, the multi-layered flavour of this white won us over. It has notes of nectarine, honey, grapefruit and yeasty lees with excellent structure and length. It’s a premium wine worthy of a place in any white connoisseur’s collection.

2015 Winner - Hawkesbridge Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015

It’s hardly surprising our search for the best white wine took us to New Zealand’s Marlborough region. It’s an area with an identity all of its own and white wine lovers around the world have embraced this style wholeheartedly for the clarity and purity of flavour. With respected winemaker Sally Blackwell at the helm, Hawkesbridge is recognised as one of the finest boutique vineyards in the Marlborough.


Our 2015 winning white is immediately recognisable as a Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc. This stunning wine captures the essence of the region and captivated our judges with its intense, crisp flavours of peach and passionfruit with a hint of grassiness. The line of bracing acidity that runs the length of the palate and lasts well into the aftertaste cemented this white as the best of the best.

Previous Winners of the White Wine of the Year

Winner Wine Winemaker
1995 Hanging Rock Chardonnay 1995 John Ellis    
1996 McGuigan The First Estate Chardonnay 1996 Neil McGuigan    
1997 Yalumba 3 Vineyards Chardonnay 1997 Simon Adams & Louisa Rose    
1998 Fox Creek Chardonnay 1998 Njal Sparky Marquis    
1999 Dalfarras Chardonnay 1999 Alister Purbrick    
2000 Tyrell’s Ashmans Chardonnay 1999 Murray Tyrrell    
2001 Briar Ridge Hunter Chardonnay 2001 Adrian Lockhart    
2002 Evans & Tate Lionel’s Vineyard Margaret River Chardonnay 2002 Steve Warne    
2003 Vine Vale Vineyards Barossa Chardonnay 2003 Brian McGuigan    
2004 Dorrien Estate Growers Barossa Chardonnay 2004 Simon Adams    
2005 New Eden Chardonnay 2005 Nick Badrice    
2006 Edwards & Chaffey McLaren Vale Chardonnay 2006 Neil Doddridge    
2007 Lindemans Padthaway Bin 0783 Reserve Chardonnay 2007 Brett Sharpe    
2008 Tyrell’s Anniversary Hunter Valley Chardonnay 2008 Bruce Tyrrell    
2009 McLean’s Farm Barossa Chardonnay 2009 Bob McLean    
2010 Dorrien Estate St. Magnus Vineyard Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 2010 Mark Robertson    
2011 Avon Brae Eden Valley Chardonnay 2011 Julie Montgomery    
2012 The Gallows Bommy Margaret River Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Charlie Maiolo    
2013 Redemption Orange NSW Chardonnay 2012 Adam Bennett    
2014 Bird in Hand Blackbird Chardonnay 2013 Kym Milne    
2015 Hawkesbridge Reserve Black Label Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015 Sally Blackwell    
2016 Franklin Tate Alexanders Reserve Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Franklin Tate